The nation’s CD buyers slid a glass slipper onto the foot of the Walt Disney Co.’s music division, giving Disney labels the top two albums in the country for the first time in its history.
This Cinderella story stars Rascal Flatts, which records for the Buena Vista imprint Lyric Street, and Hollywood Records’ Hilary Duff. Rascal Flatts’ “Feels Like Today” sold 201,000 copies in the week ended Sunday, while Duff’s self-titled sophomore disc sold 192,000, according to Nielsen SoundScan. Rascal Flatts joins the Dixie Chicks as the only two country groups to have a No. 1 album in the SoundScan era.
Duff’s “Metamorphosis” was the Buena Vista Music Group’s last No. 1 album, taking the top spot in September 2003.
The two discs led a considerable shakeup in the album chart, with 18 debuts in the top 50. First lady of Crunk, Ciara, whose “My Goodies” has been on top of the singles chart for more than a month, hit No. 3 with her debut album, “Goodies” (Sho’nuff/Music Line/LaFace), selling 125,000 copies.
Reprise/Warner rockers the Used scored a career best as “In Love and Death” debuted at No. 6 with sales of 93,000. Marilyn Manson’s career overview “Lest We Forget: The Best Of” (Nothing/Interscope) sold 80,000 and landed at No. 9.
Joss Stone, the teen Brit soul singer, saw her second effort, “Mind, Body & Soul” (S-Curve), bow at No. 11, selling 73,000 copies. She debuted at No. 1 in England, making the 17-year-old the youngest artist to debut in the top spot.
“Smile” (Nonesuch), the newly recorded version of Brian Wilson’s never-released opus from 1967, sold 65,000 copies to debut at No. 13 –Wilson’s highest chart position as a solo artist. The last time he was involved with a top-10 album with the Beach Boys was 1976’s “15 Big Ones,” which peaked at No. 8.
Other top-20 debuts were Talib Kweli’s “The Beautiful Struggle” (Rawkus) at No. 14 on sales of 63,000; Interpol’s “Antics” (Matador) at No. 15, selling 62,000; Queen Latifah’s standards collection “The Dana Owens Album” (Vector) at No. 16 on sales of 61,000; and Guerilla Black’s “Guerilla City” (Virgin), which sold 46,000 to take No. 20.
Last week’s No. 1, Green Day’s “American Idiot” (Reprise/Warner Bros.), slid to No. 4 on sales of 124,000 units. Nelly’s “Suit” fits in at No. 5, selling 118,000, and its Derrty/Fo Reel/Universal partner, “Sweat,” dropped to No. 8 on sales of 80,000.
The top 10 displayed a rare showing of diversity this week: two country acts; a teen pop star and a teen R&B act; a punk band; two harder-edge rock acts; a rapper; and Ray Charles.
Other debuts included Shawnna’s “Worth the Weight” (Def Jam), selling 42,000; Social Distortion’s first studio album in eight years, “Sex Love & Rock n Roll” (Time Bomb), which debuted at No. 31 on sales of 36,000; and “Mi Sangre” (Universal Latino) from Juanes, selling 34,000.
Volume 2 of “MTV Headbangers Ball” (Roadrunner) slammed in at No. 43, selling 25,000; Barry Manilow’s album of his tuner work, “Scores: Songs From ‘Copacabana’ and ‘Harmony’ ” (Concord), sold 23,000; Capitol’s “Boys Night Out” from Frank, Dino and Sammy — billed as the Rat Pack — debuted at 22,000; and Radio Disney fave-teen actor Jesse McCartney sold 21,000 of “Beautiful Soul” (Hollywood) to take No. 50. Another Hollywood Records release, Regis Philbin’s “When You’re Smiling,” sold 20,000 units.
Other veteran acts debuting were Phil Collins (“Love Songs” on Atlantic sold 21,000), Mark Knopfler (“Shangri-La” on Warners sold 18,000), Wu Tang-Clan (“Disciples of the 36 Chambers” sold 14,000 for Sanctuary) and Sarah Brightman (“Live From Las Vegas” on Angel did 9,000). Rhino’s first dip into the Jerry Garcia Band archives saw “After Midnight: Kean College 2/28/90” sell 10,000.
New releases capable of shaking up the top 20 next week will come from R.E.M., George Strait, Tom Waits, Good Charlotte and Korn, plus a special edition of Usher’s “Confessions.”